Geoff Johns on Doomsday Clock #2's Shocking Return, Honoring Watchmen

Given that, and the acknowledgment of touching on different DC eras -- we've seen teases over the past year and a half, since the Rebirth one-shot -- any chance the Legion of Super-Heroes play into this story?

I don't think it's a huge secret [that] we saw Saturn Girl briefly in DC Universe: Rebirth. Again, unexplored and dormant characters in the DC Universe are going to be awoken throughout this series.

Moving to something of a more philosophical note -- not only is this story unique based on the premise itself, reading it, it feels like a different story for you to write -- and you'd think it has to be. What has this creative experience been like for you?

This is the most fulfilling writing I've ever done in comics, for me, personally. I've never been as happy working on a project, and getting into a story, and brainstorming with Gary Frank. Everyone working on this -- my editors Brian Cunningham and Amadeo Turturro; [DC publicist] Kelley [Popham], us brainstorming about how to talk about the book and where to and the context of the book; our amazing colorist Brad Anderson and Rob Leigh, the letterer. This is not a normal workload for anybody, across the board. This is not a normal book. This is not normal for me, it's not normal for Gary, it's not normal for anyone connected to it. Amie [Brockway-Metcalf], she's a designer on all the backmatter, is doing unbelievable work. I write it and Gary draws it, but then she's really putting it together in a great context. The stuff in issue #3 in the back is some of my favorite stuff I've ever been a part of. It's bizarre. It's really, really interesting. Amie's done an unbelievable job.

The reason I think it's so rewarding is because everyone involved in the project knows how important it is to give it everything they've got, to make this the best book possible, because it deserves it. If we're going to attempt to do something like this, we've got to make it worthwhile. When you read it, I want you to feel like it's a different type of book. I want it to feel like it's a book that you're not reading on the stands, that doesn't exist. Even down to the paper quality that we chose. We had a lot of debate about it. Do we go with the classic glossy, or do we go with more of a matte finish? A matte finish can be a little darker, but it has a better texture to it, and I think it feels more in tone with the original books.

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We're really trying to do a story that is both honoring what Watchmen is, honoring what DC is, and doing something that's all our own at the same time. Something that you're going to read, and because there aren't a million crossovers and there's not a million other books tied to it, you're going to go, "I don't know what's going to happen next. I've got no idea. But I want to read." And hopefully when you've read issue #2 -- first off, hopefully it took you a while, and you're going to go back and read it again. Because there's so much stuff in there, and there are a lot of layers to the characters, a lot of layers to the story, a lot of things that people are going to miss, a lot of things that people are going to probably have to stop and look up, that are both from our world and the DC lore. And that's what we want. We're all working on a book that we're really proud of. The subject matter of the book is, again, people are going to be skeptical about it, but I can say that everyone involved is giving everything they've got to making this a great book, and that this book exists because Gary and I had a story to tell, not because DC or anybody said, "Hey, you should do a Watchmen/DC crossover."

Looking towards issue #3 -- Superman was in #1, Batman and Luthor are in #2. What DC characters might join the story in issue #3?

Some obscure ones. We'll start to get into the broader DC Universe -- as we go, we're going to get more and more into it. For me, it's all about, "How is this interaction between Batman and Rorschach going to go?" "Mime and Marionette, where did they go?" One of my favorite panels is just the empty handcuffs at the end. All right, where are they? They're out loose in the DC Universe now, that's just fun. When you see them in issue #3, I think you're going to enjoy where those characters go. It's a lot of fun.

The book's for a lot of different type of readers. We're trying to make a book that you can pick up issue #1 and not have read anything, and read issue #2 and not have read anything. You don't have to go, "Why are they protesting Batman?" You'll find out in the book. One of the big things that is going to have a major impact in the DC Universe is this concept of the Supermen Theory and where it goes. I can't overstate that enough.

Doomsday Clock #2 is available now. Doomsday Clock #3 is scheduled for release on Jan. 24.

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